The next several years Arnold studied, began his library, and preached wherever possible. He and a brother in Christ who was a song leader occasionally flew Arnold’s Pt-22 Army surplus 2-seater open cockpit airplane to preaching appointments. They would land on any convenient field, road, or airport. Once, in Oklahoma, the five dollars he got for preaching was not enough to buy gasoline for the flight back. Embarrassed to ask for more, he used what little fuel he had to put on a short aerobatic demonstration over a freshly mowed hay field, hoping to draw a crowd willing to pay a few dollars for the show. It worked! Several young men pooled together three dollars and change to buy a ride for one of their number who had bragged he was watching “sissy stuff.” They promised to pay Arnold if he could change the braggart’s mind. Arnold satisfied their wish with a white knuckle, jaw-snapping, and gut-wrenching flight which took his victim upside down, spinning and snap-rolling through the sky. The poor man was reduced to clutching the sides of the cockpit so frozen with fear that his friends had to carry him away.
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Arnold Schnabel Biography
Arnold O. Schnabel was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1931, the first of four boys. Raised as a Baptist, at fifteen he became dissatisfied when he found inconsistencies between the Bible and Baptist preaching. At the same age his parents gave him permission to go from flying model airplanes to taking flying lessons, provided he study all necessary subjects and earn the money to pay for the lessons himelf. Thus began Arnold’s two life-long interests: Bible study and flying.
After instruction in five different types of aircraft, he made his first solo flight on a gusty day at the age of fifteen. At seventeen he entered Purdue University to study aeronautical engineering. The following summer of 1950, war broke out in Korea, and at eighteen, Arnold passed his private pilot’s flight test at the Cleveland Airport and one week later entered the U.S. Air Force to begin Aircraft and Engine Mechanics School in Wichita Falls, Texas. The next year, 1951, Arnold moved to the Amarillo Air Force Base to serve as an instructor in the Advanced Jet Fighter Mechanics School.
During these last five years between the ages of 15 and 20 Arnold had been visiting different churches. None satisfied him because he realized their various doctrines resulted from filtering the Bible though church approved manuals, disciplines or catechisms. It seemed to him the Bible ought to be the ONLY authority. One day as he drove down Highway 66 on his first trip into Amarillo, he noticed a sign that said “CHURCH OF CHRIST” with an arrow pointing left. The following Sunday he was struck by their unique approach to worship and teaching, but two of their characteristics made an especially deep and long-lasting impression. First, both the Bible class teacher and the preacher answered questions by referring to Bible passages rather than creeds or study books. Second, Arnold could hear the sound of many pages being turned by the audience. It was astounding. These people were using the Bible to confirm what the teachers said! That afternoon he wrote home to say he’d found the church he’d been looking for. In the fall of 1951 he was baptized into Christ, and on his first trip home from the Air Force he converted his father, who saw the truth with tears in his eyes. Arnold’s dad left his office as deacon in a Baptist church and years later served as deacon in the Lord’s church.
Here in Amarillo, Arnold attended two colleges and earned the credits to meet Air Force requirements for pilot training. He studied, began a library, and preached. He and another Christian who could lead singing flew Arnold’s Pt-22 open cockpit 2-seater plane to preaching appointments. They'd land on any convenient field, road, or airport. Once, in Oklahoma, the five dollars he was paid for preaching wasn't enough to buy gas for the flight back. Embarrassed to ask for more, Arnold used what little fuel he had to put on a short aerobatic demonstration over a freshly mowed hay field, hoping to attract folks willing to pay a few dollars for the show. It worked! Several young men collected a little over three dollars to buy a ride for their friend who had bragged he was watching “sissy stuff.” They promised to pay Arnold if he could change the braggart’s mind. The resulting white knuckle, jaw-snapping, and gut-wrenching flight took Arnold's victim upside down, spinning and snap-rolling through the sky. The poor man was reduced to clutching the sides of the cockpit so frozen with fear that his friends had to carry him away.
After the Korean War, Arnold interrupted his engineering studies to spend two years at Freed-Hardeman University as a special student in Biblical Studies. Then he preached part-time for the Auburn church of Christ while completing his degree in aeronautical engineering at Auburn University. Upon graduating in 1958, he moved with his wife, Sue, and their first child to Washington state where he began working for the Boeing Aircraft Company in its Research and Development Department. In those eight years he lived in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle, and worked with the Kirkland church by teaching and preaching. The Lord blessed their efforts and the saints multiplied until they outgrew their building. Many life long bonds of brotherly love were made during that time.
At Boeing, Arnold’s fellow engineers and scientists challenged him to prove the Bible’s inspiration. Not finding any material suitable for scientists or engineers (who expected evidence to be seen or touched) he promised to provide it himself. Arnold spent six months matching Biblical texts with modern scientific discoveries. This evidence was then discussed during the daily lunch break with about forty coworkers and became the foundation of a lifetime’s work. During this time brethren became aware of his work on Biblical apologetics and began presenting his material at civic organizations, schools and churches.
In 1966 Arnold left his supervisor’s position with Boeing to work with the 160th Avenue Church of Christ in Portland Oregon. Here he started three new programs. (1) An adult education class patterned after the very successful one Lowell Williams established in Kirkland. (2) The daily radio show called “Ask Your Preacher,” again duplicating a successful work of the Kirkland church. This effort was so richly blessed that over one hundred souls were added to churches within the range of "Ask Your Preacher." (3) Arnold designed a family centered daily Bible study. He felt too many parents were failing to train up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord because they thought Sunday Bible classes would be sufficient. Arnold's program taught the parents how to fulfill this responsibility themselves and in their own homes. This approach to building children's faith has been adopted by many churches.
The 160th Avenue church continued to grow in strength and numbers through the work and sacrifice of the brethren. The church became self-sufficient, appointed elders and deacons, and began supporting its own preacher. Arnold continued teaching the Bible in homes and public, attended to the nearly daily responsibilities of the radio program, and managed multiple construction jobs through the contracting business he had started. Then, in 1974, Jim Cope, the President of Florida College at the time, held a gospel meeting for the 160th Avenue church and suggested that Arnold might move to Tampa, Florida and preach for the Seminole church. Several months later Arnold and his family were settled in Tampa.
After preaching four years for the Seminole church where he duplicated the three Portland programs, he helped establish a new church in Carrollwood. He also created a construction company and one of his first projects was to build a new home for the Carrollwood church. This is the structure they meet in to this day. Arnold spent 1994 with the church in Moscow, Russia, where he brought the gospel to the Russian people, and through the effort of a Christian translator and English teacher at the Moscow State University, also taught groups of professors and students at the university.
For forty years, Arnold has spoken to hundreds of churches, universities, schools, and civic groups in this country and abroad. He has addressed the Bible Science Association and the Creation Research Society as well as holding debates at universities, over the radio, and in public forums. He currently supports himself in Tampa while working with the church in Land O’ Lakes, Florida.
HAS GOD SPOKEN? discusses Biblical statements which predate 31 scientific discoveries. Research in archeology is used to prove Biblical prophecy predated by hundreds of years the historical calamities God brought upon five ancient nations. One chapter examines God’s account of creation, while another presents 20 recent scientific research studies to prove the Earth is young and that science harmonizes with the Genesis account. The fifth edition of the book, including an update and major additions, should be available in August of 2004. God has indeed spoken!
Arnold’s work in the field of Biblical evidences is widely known. His book, HAS GOD SPOKEN? was published by Arnold himself in the beginning, but then by the Bible Science Association as well as Creation-Life Publishers, Inc., of The Institute for Creation Research. This work, or portions thereof, has also been printed in Korean, Japanese, German and Russian. More than 50,000 copies have found wide use around the world.